MIMIT Health Helps to Create Awareness - March is National Deep-Vein Thrombosis Awareness Month | Video on how Blood Clots Form

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March is national Deep-Vein Thrombosis Awareness Month, a public health initiative aimed at raising awareness of this commonly occurring medical condition and its potentially fatal complication, pulmonary embolism. According to the American Heart Association, up to 2 million Americans are affected annually by DVT, more commonly known as blood clots. Yet, most Americans (74 percent) have little or no awareness of DVT, according to a national survey sponsored by the American Public Health Association.

Leading medical, public health and patient advocacy groups are sponsoring the observance and are working to increase awareness of the signs, symptoms and risk factors of DVT. All health professionals can help by learning more about the condition and the options available for treatment and prevention.

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About DVT

There are two types of veins: deep and superficial. Deep veins are large and surrounded by muscle in the center of a limb. DVT occurs when a thrombus (blood clot) forms in the deep vein, most often in the leg, resulting in partially or completely blocked circulation.

Symptoms of DVT can include swelling, pain, discoloration and abnormally hot skin at the affected area. Unfortunately, nearly half of DVT episodes have minimal, if any, symptoms. These “silent” afflictions are particularly worrisome. Adding to the complication, some conditions such as muscle strain, skin inflection, phlebitis – inflammation of veins – have similar symptoms, making DVT harder to diagnose. The most accurate ways to diagnose DVT are through venous ultrasound, venography and Impedance plethysmography – detection via electrodes and blood pressure cuff placed on the patient’s calf and thigh.

While DVT below the knee is unlikely to cause serious complications, clots above the knee can break off and travel up the bloodstream, resulting in a blocked blood vessel in the lung (pulmonary embolism). Other consequences are damaged blood vessels leading to blood pooling, swelling and pain in the leg, and in the most severe cases with large clots, death.

Certain individuals are more at risk for deep-vein thrombosis than others. Those with prior DVT, obesity, stroke, pregnancy, undergoing major surgery, over the age of 65 and those who are confined to long periods of immobility via travel or bed rest are more likely to be afflicted. According to the American Medical Association, approximately 2 million people suffer from DVT each year, more than the annual amount affected by heart attack or stroke.

MIMIT Health offers Minimally Invasive Treatments for Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT). If you have any questions or would like to set up an appointment, Dr. Chopra and his associates can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at (708) 486-2600 or email info@mimithealth.com.

SAVE THE DATE! Dr. Paramjit "Romi" Chopra to speak at The Advanced Revascularization-Chapter XII (ARCH) Symposium

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The Advanced Revascularization-Chapter XII (ARCH) Symposium held in St. Louis is the nation’s premier interventional cardiology course specifically designed for the busy practicing physician and trainees. ARCH 2019 will focus on evidence based data, newer technological advances, case-based discussions, tips and tricks in complex cases, innovative therapeutic strategies that will enable physicians to treat their patients with high-risk and complex coronary, peripheral vascular and structural anatomy.

Attendees will learn from experts on the use of novel techniques and interventional tools, new CTO techniques, hemodynamic support during high-risk Coronary, Peripheral and Structural Interventions and decompensated heart failure, structural heart disease interventions and novel intravascular coronary anatomy/physiology techniques. In addition, use of newer adjunctive imaging modalities to optimize Coronary, Peripheral and Structural Interventions outcomes will be presented.

Participants will observe live cases and hear from International experts who will present their data and share their expertise. With a strong emphasis on participant-faculty interactions, attendees will learn the latest advances in interventional cardiology.

If you would like to attend this event, please register here

What is Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)? Scary Symptoms Medical Website Interviews Dr. Paramjit "Romi" Chopra on Risks

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What is Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)?

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) occurs when a blood clot (thrombus) forms in one or more of the deep veins in your body, usually in your legs. Deep vein thrombosis can cause leg pain or swelling, but also can occur with no symptoms.

Deep vein thrombosis can develop if you have certain medical conditions that affect how your blood clots. It can also happen if you don't move for a long time, such as after surgery or an accident, or when you're confined to bed.

Deep vein thrombosis can be very serious because blood clots in your veins can break loose, travel through your bloodstream and lodge in your lungs, blocking blood flow (pulmonary embolism).


Symptoms

Deep vein thrombosis signs and symptoms can include:

Swelling in the affected leg. Rarely, there's swelling in both legs.

  • Pain in your leg. The pain often starts in your calf and can feel like cramping or soreness.

  • Red or discolored skin on the leg.

  • A feeling of warmth in the affected leg.

Deep vein thrombosis can occur without noticeable symptoms.

When to see a doctor

If you develop signs or symptoms of deep vein thrombosis, contact your doctor.

If you develop signs or symptoms of a pulmonary embolism — a life-threatening complication of deep vein thrombosis — seek immediate medical attention.

The warning signs and symptoms of a pulmonary embolism include:

  • Sudden shortness of breath

  • Chest pain or discomfort that worsens when you take a deep breath or when you cough

  • Feeling lightheaded or dizzy, or fainting

  • Rapid pulse

  • Coughing up blood

Diagnosis

To diagnose deep vein thrombosis, your doctor will ask you about your symptoms. You'll also have a physical exam so that your doctor can check for areas of swelling, tenderness or discoloration on your skin. Depending on how likely you are to have a blood clot, your doctor might suggest tests, including:

  • Ultrasound. A wandlike device (transducer) placed over the part of your body where there's a clot sends sound waves into the area. As the sound waves travel through your tissue and reflect back, a computer transforms the waves into a moving image on a video screen. A clot might be visible in the image.

    Sometimes a series of ultrasounds are done over several days to determine whether a blood clot is growing or to check for a new one.

  • Blood test. Almost all people who develop severe deep vein thrombosis have an elevated blood level of a substance called D dimer.

  • Venography. A dye is injected into a large vein in your foot or ankle. An X-ray creates an image of the veins in your legs and feet, to look for clots. However, less invasive methods of diagnosis, such as ultrasound, can usually confirm the diagnosis.

  • CT or MRI scans. Either can provide visual images of your veins and might show if you have a clot. Sometimes these scans performed for other reasons reveal a clot.

MIMIT Health offers Minimally Invasive Treatments for Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT). If you have any questions or would like to set up an appointment, Dr. Chopra and his associates can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at (708) 486-2600 or email info@mimithealth.com.

Read Scary Symptoms entire Interview here.

We’re Hiring Operating Room (OR) Technicians!

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MIMIT Health is looking for dedicated and caring medical professionals including Medical Assistants, Operating Room (OR) Technicians, and more. If you are interested or know someone interested in working for MIMIT Health, please share or click here or please send a short cover letter and your resume to info@mimithealth.com

MIMIT Health is looking for team members who demonstrate compassion, accountability, respect, and excellence with the understanding that it’s the patients we serve and who are at the center of all we do.

Digital transformation in healthcare remains complex and challenging

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The famous Henry Ford quote seems just as true today as it was at the time, about wanting faster horses. I know from my own experience when I have asked business sponsors, managers and clinicians about problems or pain points they often reach for the nearest solution within sight. This approach misses the deeper technology requirements and fundamentally isn’t really transformative.

The hard part of digital transformation in healthcare is challenging how we work right now and establishing why we maintain the status quo? In other sectors such as retail, travel and banking, society has benefited from a very data driven technological approach. In those sectors they’ve redefined the customer experience in a way that hasn’t been realised in healthcare.

Healthcare is ready for digital disruption

Whilst progress has been made in digital healthcare, it hasn’t necessarily been transformational and in many cases is a simple conversion of analogue to electronic. Certainly the areas of eReferral, ePrescribing and eHealth Records haven’t undergone revolutionary change, they’re simply the transference of what were analogue forms and processes into electronic versions of the same. In healthcare transformation so many processes remain ripe for digital disruption.

We’re heading into the post-digital era where healthcare organisations will need to adopt new and emerging technology. These new technologies will drive change in an environment where the sector already has a multitude of existing digital tools. The new technology that is already appearing in healthcare includes artificial intelligence, distributed ledger technology, extended reality and quantum computing.

Most industries that have undergone digital transformation have done so by adopting a data-driven approach. In healthcare we’re entering an era where data will be generated at scale. Through genomics, IoT and citizen facing applications, alongside traditional health data, new data points will emerge with patterns that were not previously identifiable. This also provides us with an unparalleled opportunity to prevent illness and offer treatment with much greater precision.

Other sectors have all been through this disruptive change whether that was consumer banking, mobile telecommunications or online retail, they’ve all had to overcome new entrants to the market that are not part of legacy, but more importantly these new entrants will redefine healthcare as we know it.

Challenging traditional approaches to healthtech

In all likelihood it’ll be technology that redefines healthcare and this will be driven by data. However the approach is unlikely to try and incrementally fix yesterday’s problems but instead create a new endpoint with a new way of getting there. This will challenge traditional ways of approaching healthcare technology and will almost certainly threaten the very linear delivery models of the past.

Technology needs to normalise as part of healthcare delivery, for example Natural Language Processing technology is often perceived as standalone technology but it’s power will emerge when it’s incorporated into other digital products and it moves from processing to aiding actions and supporting decisions.

Our health system in the UK is very much designed around reacting to illness, the very origins were to treat illness, so it’s not surprising that this is how the system has evolved. Much of our framework for digital transformation has been about making small incremental gains in managing illness and its associated workload. If the system could pivot to one which is based on prediction then some of the illness may be prevented before it progresses and equally some of the workload may not exist in the same way.

Empowering the patient

The components of a healthcare system haven’t changed very much, they still consist of doctors and other clinicians, in a physical location with waiting areas for patients. Whilst we may now use computers instead of physical appointment books, the concept and the model hasn’t changed very much in the last 100 years. If we could redefine healthcare, how much of it would we put back in the hands of a patient? Could our delivery model and physical healthcare spaces be reimagined?

Digital transformation in healthcare is reliant on a new approach to digital development. The technology can’t be viewed as being separate to the delivery of services but must be seen as part of the service. The relationship between citizen and healthcare needs to be redefined so that the underlying components of healthcare can be re-engineered.

I hope we’ll look back one day from a point where the challenge isn’t faster ambulances or waiting time in the emergency department, but instead the techniques through which we process mass data to predict and prevent the event from occurring.

Article: https://bddy.me/2X9H6cR

Apple is getting so serious about health, it's started hosting heart-health events at Apple Stores

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Apple hosted its first health-focused event at its Union Square store in San Francisco on Monday evening. It started with a panel on the topic of heart health and ended with an walk around the block to demonstrate the activity features on the Apple Watch.

Apple has not previously hosted any dedicated health events at its Apple Stores, but it has scheduled three this month, including in Chicago and New York. The events are in support of Heart Month, as heart health is a big area of focus for the Apple Watch, which includes an optical sensor to measure the user's heart rate and (in the new version) an electrocardiogram to measure the heart's rhythm.

These events are yet another signal that the company is positioning health care is key to its future. Its executives have said as much, with the Tim Cook noting to CNBC's Jim Cramer that health will be the company's "greatest contribution to mankind." As it scales back in other departments, like self-driving cars, the company is growing its team and making some big investments in health.

The company's CEO Tim Cook even tweeted about the event on Tuesday: Read more

Eating 'ultraprocessed' foods accelerates your risk of early death, study says

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“This trend may drive an increase of early deaths due to chronic illnesses, including cancer and cardiovascular disease”

The quick and easy noshes you love are chipping away at your mortality one nibble at a time, according to new research from France: We face a 14% higher risk of early death with each 10% increase in the amount of ultraprocessed foods we eat.

"Ultraprocessed foods are manufactured industrially from multiple ingredients that usually include additives used for technological and/or cosmetic purposes," wrote the authors of the study, published Monday in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine. "Ultraprocessed foods are mostly consumed in the form of snacks, desserts, or ready-to-eat or -heat meals," and their consumption "has largely increased during the past several decades."

This trend may drive an increase of early deaths due to chronic illnesses, including cancer and cardiovascular disease, they say.

Ultraprocessed foods are gaining ground in our diets

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In the United States, 61% of an adult's total diet comes from ultraprocessed foods, in Canada, it is 62%, and in the UK, that proportion is 63%, a recent study found. Yet research also indicates that eating ultraprocessed foods can lead to obesity, high blood pressure and cancer, the study authors say.

To understand the relationship between ultraprocessed foods and the risk of an earlier-than-expected death, the researchers enlisted the help of 44,551 French adults 45 and older for two years. Their average age was 57, and nearly 73% of the participants were women. All provided 24-hour dietary records every six months in addition to completing questionnaires about their health (including body-mass index and other measurements), physical activities and sociodemographics.

The researchers calculated each participant's overall dietary intake and consumption of ultraprocessed foods.

Ultraprocessed foods accounted for more than 14% of the weight of total food consumed and about 29% of total calories, they found. Ultraprocessed food consumption was associated with younger age, lower income, lower educational level, living alone, higher BMI and lower physical activity level.

One serving of fried chicken a day linked to 13% higher risk of death, study finds

Read entire article

If you have any questions or would like to set up an appointment, Dr. Chopra and his associates can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at (708) 486-2600 or email info@mimithealth.com.

How Exercise Can Help in Peripheral Artery Disease

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IT'S SOMETIMES CALLED "window-shopper's disease." As walking brings on leg cramps and pain, people with peripheral artery disease must frequently stop for breaks. When they rest, pain subsides. When they resume walking, PAD pain kicks back in.

PAD is common among older adults. About one in every 20 Americans over age 50 has PAD, with up to 12 million people affected overall, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

People may mistakenly believe painful walking is part of normal aging. However, PAD is linked to higher risks of cardiovascular complications such as heart attacks or strokes. PAD shouldn't be suffered stoically or in silence. If you have symptoms, you need a medical evaluation.

Exercise is a first-line treatment for PAD. The catch is that walking discomfort may cause PAD sufferers to shy away from movement. Fortunately, structured exercise therapy can help. Better walking ability, improved cardiovascular test results and increased quality of life occur in patients who complete these programs, multiple studies show.

Supervised by health care experts and now covered by Medicare, exercise programs help PAD patients build endurance and tolerance and learn how to safely walk past the point of discomfort.

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ABCs of PAD

Here are some of the basics of PAD and exercise treatment:

What is peripheral artery disease? Peripheral artery disease, also called peripheral arterial disease, is a painful, chronic condition involving blockages in the arteries supplying blood to the legs. PAD is a type of peripheral vascular disease, which refers to any disease involving the vascular system outside the heart.

Normally, healthy arteries carry oxygen-rich blood from the heart to the rest of the body. In patients with PAD, atherosclerosis, or narrowing and hardening of the arteries caused by fatty plaque, interferes with blood flow to the extremities – usually the legs, although arms are sometimes affected.

Cramping, pain and fatigue of the leg and hip muscles when walking or climbing stairs are the most common symptoms of PAD.

What is claudication? Claudication is the cramping pain particularly associated with PAD. Sometimes called intermittent claudication, it's usually caused by a lack of blood flow while exercising, but can also occur at rest as PAD worsens. Advanced PAD symptoms may include skin ulcerations or sores and cold, discolored, bluish legs, feet and toes. Some patients experience weakness of the extremities.

How is PAD treated? Diagnosis for PAD is done with a simple, noninvasive test using blood pressure cuffs and Doppler ultrasound. If blood pressure in the ankles is lower than in the arms, that's suggestive of PAD. Vascular specialists may order additional imaging tests of the blood vessels, called angiograms.

PAD is sometimes treated with medication such as blood thinners like aspirin to prevent clots, statin drugs to slow plaque buildup and blood pressure drugs.

Smoking and diabetes are strong risk factors for PAD. Diabetes management, smoking cessation, meticulous foot care and staying physically active are essential treatment components.

Read more

If you have any questions or would like to set up an appointment, Dr. Chopra and his associates can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at (708) 486-2600 or email info@mimithealth.com.

Can varicose veins lead to heart disease?

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The appearance of thick, twisty varicose veins can be a bit scary. It is normal to wonder if the protruding veins are a sign of a potential cardiac concern.

There is no reason to live with unsightly, heavy, tired legs these days. Modern advancements in varicose vein treatments are minimally invasive. Patients usually are home on the same day as the procedure.

How do varicose veins affect the heart and cardiovascular system? Can varicose veins cause heart problems?

While the presence of varicose veins indicates a problem with moving blood back to the heart for oxygenation, generally a diagnosis of varicose veins does not put you at a higher risk for cardiac issues. Heart disease and poor circulation are related to the arterial system while the venous system is linked to varicose veins.

However, in some cases, the venous system can be affected by a cardiac issue. For instance, a patient with heart disease and varicose veins could be at higher risk for developing swelling in the legs or an infection around a varicose vein.

Another complication from varicose veins is deep vein thrombosis, or DVT, which can form deep in a varicose vein. If this clot loosens and breaks free it can travel to the lungs, and the result can be a potentially fatal pulmonary embolism. Or, the clot can obstruct blood flow, which could lead to other health risks.

On the positive side, both the arterial and venous systems respond favorably to a heart healthy lifestyle including diet, exercise and hydration.

About 15 percent of American adults have venous disease. The veins become damaged or weak, and blood flows backwards and causes the veins to stretch, swell and twist.

You have a higher risk of developing varicose veins if the disease runs in your family, you are pregnant, you are overweight, or you are not active.

Poor circulation in one or more veins can lead to the blood pooling, often in the leg, which causes varicose veins. Venous disease can worsen over time due to the pressure created by the backflow of blood in the legs.

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Symptoms of venous disease may include swelling or heaviness in legs, leg pain or muscle cramping, visible varicose or spider veins, skin discoloration, or restless legs.

Three tips to improve vein health

The following tips not only promote varicose vein health, but they prevent poor circulation in the arteries (peripheral arterial disease), too.

Lose weight

Not only can losing weight help prevent varicose veins by reducing pressure on your venous system, it can reduce some of the symptoms from varicose veins such as heavy, tired legs.

Exercise regularly

Blood pools in your legs and ankles when you sit or stand for long periods. If you have a desk job, commit to a 10-minute walk once a day while at the office. If you stand for long periods, take a break and elevate your legs and make sure to find time to exercise such as walking, gentle yoga or swimming.

Quit smoking

Smoking reduces blood flow, constricts blood vessels and thickens blood. If you want healthy cardiac and venous systems, do not smoke.

There is no reason to live with unsightly, heavy, tired legs these days. Modern advancements in varicose vein treatments are minimally invasive. Patients usually are home on the same day as the procedure.

If you have any questions or would like to set up an appointment, Dr. Chopra and his associates can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at (708) 486-2600 or email info@mimithealth.com.

Do you know the warning signs of peripheral artery disease?

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Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) is a general term usually referring to arterial blockage of the lower extremities and most commonly a result of the development of atherosclerotic plaque. It is generally found in patients over the age of 60 years, more often in men than women, and is frequently associated with other areas of arterial disease, including that of heart disease and stroke.  

PAD has a variety of manifestations ranging from no symptoms at all to symptoms of leg pain in the muscles when walking, to signs and symptoms of gangrene. Once recognized, successful treatment of this condition is usually possible through a variety of treatment options.

Risk factors for the development of PAD include:

  • Genetic predisposition (family history)

  • Hypertension

  • Diabetes

  • Smoking

  • High cholesterol

Symptoms of PAD generally start with the onset of dull achy pain and cramping in the muscles of the legs after walking a relatively consistent distance, also known medically as claudication. Symptoms will resolve with rest almost immediately, but will recur with walking. Symptoms are worse when walking up inclines or when walking more briskly.  

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Over time, the distance at which symptoms occur will shorten, reflecting progression of disease. Ultimately, the continued decrease in blood flow to the extremity will result in poor wound healing, atrophy of the extremity, constant pain (pain without walking, i.e. rest pain) and the onset of gangrene.

Treatment options will depend upon the severity of the disease at the time of presentation. In patients without symptoms or with mild claudication, conservative medical management is first-line treatment. This includes improved control of the above-noted risk factors and daily exercise. 

Stop smoking, monitor your blood pressure at home, make sure your cholesterol is being checked and treated if high, and follow the appropriate diet and close monitoring of your blood sugar if a diabetic. 

A daily exercise regimen is extremely important to help in the development of collateral circulation around the blockages. In many cases, this can help in delaying or avoiding completely the need for intervention in the future.

For moderate to severe symptoms of claudication which are lifestyle limiting, or for situations which threaten limb loss, diagnostic testing and intervention based on the recommendations of the physician are warranted. Methods of treatment include placement of stents, removal of plaque, and bypass depending upon the extent and severity of the arterial blockages.  

Fortunately, technology today offers many different options, and in almost all cases, something can be done to help restore blood flow in the affected limb.

When you should see a doctor

You should not dismiss pain as a normal part of getting older. If you are having leg pain, numbness, or other leg symptoms you are not sure of, make an appointment to see your family physician.

If any of the following occur, you should contact a medical professional as soon as possible:

  • Chest pain or shortness of breath along with leg pain

  • Leg pain that will not go away — even when you are resting.

  • New sores or ulcers

  • Signs of infection that may include fever, redness and a general ill feeling

If you have any questions or would like to refer a patient, Dr. Chopra and his associates can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at (708) 486-2600 or email info@mimithealth.com.

2019—The Year of Healing, Growth and Technology…

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Health care professionals who have worked with MIMIT Health and those who are learning about us, know that we are one of the fastest-growing physician groups in Illinois. There is a reason for this. We provide world-class minimally invasive treatments, excellence in patient care, along with research & medical education. We helped more patients in 2018 than ever before and look to continue that trend in 2019. 

Education & Dedication

If you read our news and media section (https://www.mimithealth.com/news/) and our social media channels (links below), you will see articles about medical technology, Artificial Intelligence, Minimally Invasive Treatments, and solutions for patients to improve their health and well-being.

As an organization, we have grown by increasing our executive, medical and clinical staff to make the patient referral process seamless and easy for physicians. To accommodate our growth, we opened a new headquarters in Des Plaines near the airport at 1011 E Touhy Ave, Des Plaines, IL 60018. We invite you to stop by and visit. 

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The huge growth of minimally invasive treatments is easy to explain, when patients understand that they have less invasive options, the choice is easy. They want to be treated with less risk, less pain, and less recovery time compared to traditional surgery. We take great care to counsel patients on every possible treatment option so patients and their families can decide what’s best for them.

This is where we come in. We provide minimally invasive treatments performed by industry-leading physicians led by the renowned Dr. Romi Chopra. Integrated with our best-in-class health care, we focus on our patients "living their best life" with healthy lifestyle strategies and wellness solutions. 

We call this enlightened health care.

Here are some of our services:

1.    Vascular Disease (Peripheral Artery Disease) – Amputation Prevention and Limb Salvage

2.    Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA)- Percutaneous Endografts

3.    Varicose Veins (Superficial Venous Disease) – Non-surgical Vein Treatment

4.    Deep Venous Thrombosis (DVT) and Pulmonary Embolization (PE)

5.    Back Pain/Interventional Pain Management

6.    Osteoporotic Spine Compression Fracture (Kyphoplasty)

7.    Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy - Prostatic Artery Embolization (PAE)

8.    Cancer Management- Interventional Oncology

9.    Uterine Fibroids – Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE)  

It would be our privilege to partner with you in your patient’s care. Our health care team provides personalized, advanced treatment in an environment that fosters healing.

If you have any questions or would like to refer a patient, Dr. Chopra and his associates can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at (708) 486-2600 or email info@mimithealth.com.

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Surgical robots, new medicines and better care: 17 examples of AI in healthcare

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Artificial intelligence is making the lives of patients, doctors and hospital administrators easier by accomplishing tasks that are usually performed by humans, but in a fraction of time and cost.

AI in healthcare is one of the world's highest-growth industries. The industry valued at around $600 million in 2014, but thanks to continual advances in the technology, it's projected to reach a staggering $150 billion by 2026.

From finding new links between genetic codes to surgery-assisting robots, artificial intelligence is re-writing the modern definition of healthcare with machines that can predict, comprehend, learn and act.

Robot-Assisted Surgery

Popularity in robot-assisted surgery is skyrocketing. Hospitals are using robots to help with everything from minimally-invasive procedures to open heart surgery. According to the Mayo Clinic, robots help doctors perform complex procedures with a precision, flexibility and control that goes beyond human capabilities.

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Robots equipped with cameras, mechanical arms and surgical instruments augment the experience, skill and knowledge of doctors to create a new kind of surgery. Surgeons control the mechanical arms while seated at a computer console while the robot gives the doctor a three dimensional, magnified view of the surgical site that surgeons could not get from relying on their eyes alone. The surgeon then leads other team members who work closely with the robot through the entire operation.

Robot-assisted surgeries have led to fewer surgery-related complications, less pain and a quicker recovery time. Take a look at four examples of how robots are shaping the future of surgery.

Read More

Over 40 Million Americans Suffer from Varicose Veins or Spider Veins— Experienced Physicians at MIMIT Health utilize State-of-the-art Technology for Proven Results.

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Vein conditions that are seemingly cosmetic are often caused by an underlying vein disease that could lead to more serious vein conditions if left untreated. Varicose veins may initially present themselves as moderate leg pain and can progress into skin discoloration, mobility issues, a heightened risk of Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), lymphedema or venous ulcers. Vein disease is very common. And very treatable.

Varicose veins are enlarged, bulging veins usually found in the leg. They often appear twisted and cord-like, and tend to be blue to dark purple in color.

Spider veins are smaller, thread-like, or tree-like in appearance, and are usually seen just under the surface of the skin in the legs and face. Similar to varicose veins, spider veins on the face, hands and limbs can be accompanied by pain.

Who Gets Varicose Veins?

These factors increase your risk of developing varicose veins:

Age. The risk of varicose veins increases with age. Aging causes wear and tear on the valves in your veins that help regulate blood flow. Eventually, that wear causes the valves to allow some blood to flow back into your veins where it collects instead of flowing up to your heart.

Sex. Women are more likely to develop the condition. Hormonal changes during pregnancy, premenstruation or menopause may be a factor because female hormones tend to relax vein walls. Hormone treatments, such as birth control pills, may increase your risk of varicose veins.

Pregnancy. During pregnancy, the volume of blood in your body increases. This change supports the growing fetus, but also can produce an unfortunate side effect — enlarged veins in your legs. Hormonal changes during pregnancy may also play a role.

Family history. If other family members had varicose veins, there's a greater chance you will too.

Obesity. Being overweight puts added pressure on your veins.

Standing or sitting for long periods of time. Your blood doesn't flow as well if you're in the same position for long periods.

Causes

Weak or damaged valves can lead to varicose veins. Arteries carry blood from your heart to the rest of your tissues, and veins return blood from the rest of your body to your heart, so the blood can be recirculated. To return blood to your heart, the veins in your legs must work against gravity.

Muscle contractions in your lower legs act as pumps, and elastic vein walls help blood return to your heart. Tiny valves in your veins open as blood flows toward your heart then close to stop blood from flowing backward. If these valves are weak or damaged, blood can flow backward and pool in the vein, causing the veins to stretch or twist.

Here are treatments for varicose veins:

1. Sclerotherapy

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This is a rather painless saline-injection medical procedure that collapses the veins so as to allow the body to reabsorb it back into your bloodstream. Most health experts recommend this treatment for those that suffer from the medium to small varicose vein ailments. There are different types of sclerotherapy treatment when this type of venous condition is concerned. These include

– Laser-assisted Sclerotherapy (most advanced and least invasive)

– Foam Sclerotherapy (for the much bigger and harder-to-treat veins)

– Ultrasound-Guided Sclerotherapy (for the deep, large veins that may have required surgery once before)

2. Phlebectomy

Also commonly referred to as vein “stripping.” In this surgical procedure, the doctor makes tiny cuts around the damaged veins and then proceeds to remove that whole vein. Sometimes, doctors opt to perform phlebectomy alongside several other medical procedures, for example, ablation. The main advantage this particular procedure has is that it happens to be a permanent treatment. This is because the damaged veins are removed completely. Nevertheless, like most surgical procedures it does come with its risks as well as the fact that it will require some considerable recovery time.

3. Thermal Ablation

Also known as Radiofrequency Ablation, this treatment has been in existence for almost over ten years now. It involves using radiofrequency or laser energy to heat the vein’s insides. This destroys the walls of the veins causing the vein itself to shrink which then allows the body to absorb it naturally over time. It’s one of the best treatments when it comes to varicose veins. However, it tends to cause a bit of discomfort for a few weeks or so as well as cause a little bruising. Veins usually disappear after around one or two weeks after treatment.

4. Non-Thermal Ablation

In this ablation treatment, instead of using heat to permanently destroy the damaged veins a potent medical drug is used. It’s also as effective as its previously mentioned counterpart and works very well against this venous complication. The good thing about it is that it also destroys the affected veins for good.

If medical treatment is something you might be considering, then try as much as you can to find the best possible physician to treat you. All types of doctors are performing these treatments these days. It’s advised you do your due diligence before picking one. Your best bet would be a phlebologist. They happen to be the most qualified for handling such medical scenarios. They’re vein specialists and are the best suited for these cases.

MIMIT Health keeps patients healthy with our minimally invasive approach to treating varicose veins and spider veins. Call MIMIT Health at (708) 486-2600 today and talk with one of our patient care specialists.

Top 12 Ways Artificial Intelligence Will Impact Healthcare

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Artificial intelligence is poised to become a transformational force in healthcare. How will providers and patients benefit from the impact of AI-driven tools?The healthcare industry is ripe for some major changes. From chronic diseases and cancer to radiology and risk assessment, there are nearly endless opportunities to leverage technology to deploy more precise, efficient, and impactful interventions at exactly the right moment in a patient’s care.

As payment structures evolve, patients demand more from their providers, and the volume of available data continues to increase at a staggering rate, artificial intelligence is poised to be the engine that drives improvements across the care continuum.

AI offers a number of advantages over traditional analytics and clinical decision-making techniques. Learning algorithms can become more precise and accurate as they interact with training data, allowing humans to gain unprecedented insights into diagnostics, care processes, treatment variability, and patient outcomes.

At the 2018 World Medical Innovation Forum (WMIF) on artificial intelligence presented by Partners Healthcare, a leading researchers and clinical faculty members showcased the twelve technologies and areas of the healthcare industry that are most likely to see a major impact from artificial intelligence within the next decade.

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Every member of this “Disruptive Dozen” has the potential to produce a significant benefit to patients while possessing the potential for broad commercial success, said WMIF co-chairs Anne Kiblanksi, MD, Chief Academic Officer at Partners Healthcare and Gregg Meyer, MD, Chief Clinical Officer.

With the help of experts from across the Partners Healthcare system, including faculty from Harvard Medical School (HMS), moderators Keith Dreyer, DO, PhD, Chief Data Science Officer at Partners and Katherine Andriole, PhD, Director of Research Strategy and Operations at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), counted down the top 12 ways artificial intelligence will revolutionize the delivery and science of healthcare.

UNIFYING MIND AND MACHINE THROUGH BRAIN-COMPUTER INTERFACES

Using computers to communicate is not a new idea by any means, but creating direct interfaces between technology and the human mind without the need for keyboards, mice, and monitors is a cutting-edge area of research that has significant applications for some patients.

Neurological diseases and trauma to the nervous system can take away some patients’ abilities to speak, move, and interact meaningfully with people and their environments. Brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) backed by artificial intelligence could restore those fundamental experiences to those who feared them lost forever.

“If I’m in the neurology ICU on a Monday, and I see someone who has suddenly lost the ability to move or to speak, we want to restore that ability to communicate by Tuesday,” said Leigh Hochberg, MD, PhD, Director of the Center for Neurotechnology and Neurorecovery at MGH.

“By using a BCI and artificial intelligence, we can decode the neural activates associated with the intended movement of one’s hand, and we should be able to allow that person to communicate the same way as many people in this room have communicated at least five times over the course of the morning using a ubiquitous communication technology like a tablet computer or phone.”

Brain-computer interfaces could drastically improve quality of life for patients with ALS, strokes, or locked-in syndrome, as well as the 500,000 people worldwide who experience spinal cord injuries every year.

DEVELOPING THE NEXT GENERATION OF RADIOLOGY TOOLS

Radiological images obtained by MRI machines, CT scanners, and x-rays offer non-invasive visibility into the inner workings of the human body. But many diagnostic processes still rely on physical tissue samples obtained through biopsies, which carry risks including the potential for infection.

Artificial intelligence will enable the next generation of radiology tools that are accurate and detailed enough to replace the need for tissue samples in some cases, experts predict.

We want to bring together the diagnostic imaging team with the surgeon or interventional radiologist and the pathologist,” said Alexandra Golby, MD, Director of Image-Guided Neurosurgery at Brigham & Women’s Hospital (BWH). “That coming together of different teams and aligning goals is a big challenge.”

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“If we want the imaging to give us information that we presently get from tissue samples, then we’re going to have to be able to achieve very close registration so that the ground truth for any given pixel is known.”

Succeeding in this quest may allow clinicians to develop a more accurate understanding of how tumors behave as a whole instead of basing treatment decisions on the properties of a small segment of the malignancy.

Providers may also be able to better define the aggressiveness of cancers and target treatments more appropriately.

Artificial intelligence is helping to enable “virtual biopsies” and advance the innovative field of radiomics, which focuses on harnessing image-based algorithms to characterize the phenotypes and genetic properties of tumors.

EXPANDING ACCESS TO CARE IN UNDERSERVED OR DEVELOPING REGIONS

Shortages of trained healthcare providers, including ultrasound technicians and radiologists can significantly limit access to life-saving care in developing nations around the world.

More radiologists work in the half-dozen hospitals lining the renowned Longwood Avenue in Boston than in all of West Africa, the session pointed out.

Artificial intelligence could help mitigate the impacts of this severe deficit of qualified clinical staff by taking over some of the diagnostic duties typically allocated to humans.

For example, AI imaging tools can screen chest x-rays for signs of tuberculosis, often achieving a level of accuracy comparable to humans. This capability could be deployed through an app available to providers in low-resource areas, reducing the need for a trained diagnostic radiologist on site.

“The potential for this tech to increase access to healthcare is tremendous,” said Jayashree Kalpathy-Cramer, PhD, Assistant in Neuroscience at MGH and Associate Professor of Radiology at HMS.

However, algorithm developers must be careful to account for the fact that disparate ethnic groups or residents of different regions may have unique physiologies and environmental factors that will influence the presentation of disease.

“The course of a disease and population affected by the disease may look very different in India than in the US, for example,” she said.

“As we’re developing these algorithms, it’s very important to make sure that the data represents a diversity of disease presentations and populations – we can’t just develop an algorithm based on a single population and expect it to work as well on others.”

REDUCING THE BURDENS OF ELECTRONIC HEALTH RECORD USE

EHRs have played an instrumental role in the healthcare industry’s journey towards digitalization, but the switch has brought myriad problems associated with cognitive overload, endless documentation, and user burnout.

EHR developers are now using artificial intelligence to create more intuitive interfaces and automate some of the routine processes that consume so much of a user’s time.

Users spend the majority of their time on three tasks: clinical documentation, order entry, and sorting through the in-basket, said Adam Landman, MD, Vice President and CIO at Brigham Health.

Voice recognition and dictation are helping to improve the clinical documentation process, but natural language processing (NLP) tools might not be going far enough.

“I think we may need to be even bolder and consider changes like video recording a clinical encounter, almost like police wear body cams,” said Landman. “And then you can use AI and machine learning to index those videos for future information retrieval.

“And just like in the home, where we’re using Siri and Alexa, the future will bring virtual assistants to the bedside for clinicians to use with embedded intelligence for order entry.”

Artificial intelligence may also help to process routine requests from the inbox, like medication refills and result notifications. It may also help to prioritize tasks that truly require the clinician’s attention, Landman added, making it easier for users to work through their to-do lists.

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CONTAINING THE RISKS OF ANTIBIOTIC RESISTANCE

Antibiotic resistance is a growing threat to populations around the world as overuse of these critical drugs fosters the evolution of superbugs that no longer respond to treatments. Multi-drug resistant organisms can wreak havoc in the hospital setting, and claim thousands of lives every year.

C. difficile alone accounts for approximately $5 billion in annual costs for the US healthcare system and claims more than 30,000 lives.

Electronic health record data can help to identify infection patterns and highlight patients at risk before they begin to show symptoms. Leveraging machine learning and AI tools to drive these analytics can enhance their accuracy and create faster, more accurate alerts for healthcare providers.

“AI tools can live up to the expectation for infection control and antibiotic resistance,” Erica Shenoy, MD, PhD, Associate Chief of the Infection Control Unit at MGH.

“If they don’t, then that’s really a failure on all of our parts. For the hospitals sitting on mountains of EHR data and not using them to the fullest potential, to industry that’s not creating smarter, faster clinical trial design, and for EHRs that are creating these data not to use them…that would be a failure.”

CREATING MORE PRECISE ANALYTICS FOR PATHOLOGY IMAGES

Pathologists provide one of the most significant sources of diagnostic data for providers across the spectrum of care delivery, says Jeffrey Golden, MD, Chair of the Department of Pathology at BWH and a professor of pathology at HMS.

“Seventy percent of all decisions in healthcare are based on a pathology result,” he said. “Somewhere between 70 and 75 percent of all the data in an EHR are from a pathology result. So the more accurate we get, and the sooner we get to the right diagnosis, the better we’re going to be. That’s what digital pathology and AI has the opportunity to deliver.”

Analytics that can drill down to the pixel level on extremely large digital images can allow providers to identify nuances that may escape the human eye.

“We’re now getting to the point where we can do a better job of assessing whether a cancer is going to progress rapidly or slowly and how that might change how patients will be treated based on an algorithm rather than clinical staging or the histopathologic grade,” said Golden. “That’s going to be a huge advance.”

Artificial intelligence can also improve productivity by identifying features of interest in slides before a human clinician reviews the data, he added.

“AI can screen through slides and direct us to the right thing to look at so we can assess what’s important and what’s not. That increases the efficiency of the use of the pathologist and increases the value of the time they spend for each case.”

BRINGING INTELLIGENCE TO MEDICAL DEVICES AND MACHINES

Smart devices are taking over the consumer environment, offering everything from real-time video from the inside of a refrigerator to cars that can detect when the driver is distracted.

In the medical environment, smart devices are critical for monitoring patients in the ICU and elsewhere. Using artificial intelligence to enhance the ability to identify deterioration, suggest that sepsis is taking hold, or sense the development of complications can significantly improve outcomes and may reduce costs related to hospital-acquired condition penalties.

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Exploring Surgery Options: Open Vs. Minimally Invasive

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Having a medical condition that requires surgery can be stressful. You might find yourself having to make decisions about when you will have the procedure, which surgeon you will choose to do it and at what facility.

You might also be thinking about your recovery. How long will it take for you to get back to day-to-day activities and how much pain will you be in?

Often times, those details are determined by the type of surgery you have. Surgery is usually done one of three ways:

  • open through a large incision

  • laparoscopically using several small incisions

  • robotically, which also uses small incisions to allow the surgeon to navigate several robotic arms during the procedure 

OPEN SURGERY

As the name implies, open surgical procedures are done through a large, open cut in the skin. While this can be done safely and effectively, the larger incision can cause:

  • longer hospital stays

  • longer recovery

  • more pain

  • larger scars

  • higher risks of complications such as bleeding and infection

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MINIMALLY INVASIVE SURGERY - LAPAROSCOPIC / ENDOSCOPIC SURGERY

Laparoscopic, or endoscopic, surgery is a minimally invasive procedure that uses several small cuts in the skin to access the surgical area. The doctor uses a tiny camera to view the area and small tools to perform the surgery. Benefits of a minimally invasive procedure include:

  • smaller incisions and scars

  • shorter hospital stays and recovery times

  • lower risk of complications

  • less pain and discomfort

Laparoscopic procedures are often done if the surgery requires more than one small incision, or port, during the surgery.

ROBOTIC SURGERY

Robotic-assisted surgery is also a type of minimally invasive procedure that uses small incisions.  The difference is instead of the surgeon using their hands to manually control the camera and tools, they use the power and precision of a high tech robot. 

The surgeon sits at a console and uses controls to maneuver robotic “arms” during the procedure, allowing for more precise movements. High definition 3-D imaging also allows for a better view of the operation.

Robotic surgery procedures have the same benefits as laparoscopic surgery for the patient. It’s often used in small, difficult to navigate areas of the body such as the head and neck, or for gynecologic and urologic surgeries like hysterectomies and prostate cancer treatments. 

Many traditionally open surgeries are now being done robotically, gallbladder removal, hysterectomies, prostate surgery and colorectal surgery.

WHAT TYPE OF SURGERY IS RIGHT FOR ME?

While each of these types of surgery has its benefits, it’s important to discuss your options with your doctor to decide what surgery is right for you.

To set up an appointment or have any questions, call MIMIT Health at (708) 486-2600.

To have MIMIT Health or Dr. Chopra speak at one of your events, please call MIMIT Health at (708) 486-2600.

MIMIT Health is one of the fastest-growing independent multi-specialty physician groups in Illinois providing excellence in patient care, health care, research & medical education. 

MIMIT Health provides world class health care combined with minimally invasive treatments by industry-leading doctors, physicians and surgeons. Along with our best-in-class health care, we focus on our patients "living their best life" with healthy lifestyle strategies and wellness solutions.

We call this enlightened health care.

Excerpts taken from: https://www.beaumont.org/health-wellness/blogs/exploring-surgery-options-open-vs-minimally-invasive

Here Are 8 Things You Probably Don’t Know About Minimally Invasive, Image-Guided Procedures (MIIPS)

WHAT ARE MIIPs?

MIIPs are cutting edge solutions...without the cutting! MIIPs are not surgery. By using medical images like x-rays to see inside the body, specialized doctors can treat major diseases through a pinhole.

WHO CAN BENEFIT FROM MIIPs?

MIIPs can treat adults and children with a wide variety of diseases throughout the body. MIIPs can also help patients after surgery or even help patients avoid surgery altogether.

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WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MIIPs AND MINIMALLY INVASIVE SURGERY?

MIIPs are performed by specialized doctors called Interventional Radiologists, Interventional Cardiologists, and specially trained Vascular Surgeons. Other types of doctors may be specially trained to perform MIIPs, too.

MIIPs do not use cameras inside the body. Medical imaging allows these specialists to see inside the body from the outside. Patients usually go home with a Band-Aid just hours after the MIIP.

By contrast, minimally invasive surgery is performed by surgeons using cameras inside the body. Surgeons make several incisions large enough to place cameras and surgical instruments inside the body. One example is laparoscopic surgery.

To set up an appointment or have any questions, call MIMIT Health at (708) 486-2600.

To have MIMIT Health or Dr. Chopra speak at one of your events, please call MIMIT Health at (708) 486-2600.

What if a doctor could save…your leg… your liver…your heart…your brain…your LIFE and send you home with only a bandaid?

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Every day, specialized doctors perform innovative procedures through pinholes in the skin, delivering life-changing treatments that allow patients to return to their lives with minimal interruption. Without a Scalpel is a fascinating glimpse inside the dramatic journeys of three patients who reclaim their lives through minimally invasive, image-guided procedures that they never knew existed.

The primary project to advance the mission of the Interventional Initiative is the documentary Without a Scalpel: the Secret World of Interventional Radiology. This is a sizzle reel of the full documentary, which is cosponsored by the Western Angiographic and Interventional Society. It introduces the public to minimally invasive, image guided procedures (MIIP) through the perspective of patients and their families. We chronicle the experience of four principal patients and several additional patients as they are diagnosed, treated, and recover from their procedures. These patients represent a sampling of the breadth of diseases and conditions treated by MIIP, including blocked veins in the legs and pelvis, blocked arteries in the legs, liver cancer and metastatic disease. In the documentary, we meet these patients and their families and also come to know the interventional radiologists who treat them: Dr. Brooke Spencer, Dr. Daniel Sze, Dr. Gregg Alzate, and Dr. Darren Klass. Moreover, the documentary tells the remarkable story of how, through the innovation of early interventional radiologists such as Charles Dotter and Josef Rosch, all of medicine has been pushed toward more minimally invasive solutions for medical problems.

Dr. Chopra is an accomplished Interventional Radiologist admired for his innovative, kind, authentic patient-centered care and a holistic approach to life. His care paradigm integrates the healing and nourishment of the spirit (soul), mind and the body.

Dr. Chopra’s philosophy is to provide cutting-edge healthcare that is most commonly found in the university setting and deliver it to the communities we reside in. Dr. Chopra is a renowned expert in his field and speaks nationally and internationally on various topics in Interventional Radiology, Endovascular Therapy, and Health Care Management.

To set up an appointment or have any questions, call MIMIT Health at (708) 486-2600.

To have MIMIT Health or Dr. Chopra speak at one of your events, please call MIMIT Health at (708) 486-2600.



The Indo-American Center (IAC) Appoints Dr. Romi Chopra to Board of Directors

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The Indo-American Center (IAC) announced the appointment of Dr. Romi Chopra, CEO and founder of MIMIT Health, to its board of directors effective January.

"True to our beliefs and mission, The MIMIT Health team and I are committed to, along with the IAC, to help the underprivileged in our communities,” Dr. Romi Chopra said. “The IAC serves people from the entire Chicagoland region, representing more than thirty nationalities from all over the world. MIMIT Health is proud to be a service to our community.”

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Dr. Chopra is an accomplished Interventional and Endovascular Specialist Associate Professor of Radiology at Rush University. Dr. Chopra has been featured in many medical and news media interviews and articles. Dr. Chopra speaks nationally and internationally on various topics in Interventional Radiology, Endovascular Therapy, and Health Care Management.

A graduate of the Seth Gordhandas Sunderas Medical College of Bombay University, Dr. Chopra completed his fellowship and residency at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston. In addition to functioning as the Founder and CEO of the Midwest Institute of Minimally Invasive Therapies, Dr. Chopra is an Associate Professor of Radiology at Rush University in Chicago.

Dr. Chopra is an active member of several professional societies including the Society of Interventional Radiology, the Radiology Business Management Association, and the American Society of Physician Executives.

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About IAC

The Indo American Center (IAC) addresses the needs of South Asian immigrants as well as people from more than thirty nations the world over. IAC provides services that facilitate their adjustment, integration, and friendship with the wider society, nurture their sense of community, and foster appreciation for the diversity of culture and heritage.

IAC is a non-profit 501(c)(3) charitable organization. As a secular social service agency, IAC does not discriminate on the basis of language, race, religion, color, sex, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin. Its programs are funded through philanthropic and government grants, individual donations, and earned income.

The Indo-American Center (IAC) was founded in 1990 by a group of Indian immigrants in response to the needs of Chicago’s growing South Asian immigrant population. The founders of IAC were individuals who had worked hard to attain success in America, and they were driven by the desire to help others adjust to a new country far from home.   The founders established the guiding mission of the Indo American Center:

…to promote the well being of South Asian immigrants through services that facilitate their adjustment, integration and friendship with the wider society, nurture their sense of community, and foster appreciation for their heritage and culture

IAC’s programmatic offerings also expanded to address the growing range of needs. In 1996, to accommodate this growth, the agency purchased the two-story building at 6328 N. California which continues to serve as its headquarters.

Since its beginnings, the Indo-American Center has welcomed people of any nationality or creed. The agency serves over 30,000 from over 35 countries people annually and provides comprehensive support through the following interrelated programs and services.